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Trespass Can Never be an Accident

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant Insurance Is Insurance is a contract where a person (the insurer) agrees to indemnify another (the insured) against certain defined risks of loss, damage, or liability arising from a contingent or unknown event. Intentional acts can never be "contingent"...

Sweet Defective-Home Alabama: Supreme Court Addresses The “Occurrence” Issue

"Sub-Contractor" Exception Applies - But Not To A Sub-Contractor's Own Work Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP Last month I was in Las Vegas where I had the privilege of speaking at the CPCU Society's Annual Meeting (and paying $9 for a Diet Coke at a restaurant - Really...

Construction Defects as an ‘Occurrence’: State Legislatures Weigh In

By Edwin L. Doernberger and Theresa A. Guertin, Attorneys, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. In their article appearing in the November/December 2011 issue of Coverage, "Construction Defects as an 'Occurrence': State Legislatures Weigh In" by Edwin L. Doernberger and Theresa A....

McCarter & English LLP on Travelers Property Cas. Co. of Am. v. Mericle and Colony Ins. Co. v. Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp., Third Circuit Affirms Lack of Coverage for Pair of Judicial Kickback Cases

By Anne Matthews, Associate, McCarter & English, LLP Robert Mericle and Mericle Construction Company (collectively, "Mericle") along with Robert Powell and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corporation (collectively, "MAYS") were each sued in connection with a kickback scheme wherein...

Garage Owners’ Insurance – New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, Chapter 68

By Mark M. Hogewood, Member, Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, L.L.C. This chapter discusses the Garage Policy available to garage owners for their particular insurance needs and risks. As reflected in Section 68.01, the Garage Policy is geared toward the unique third-party liability exposure...

Ala. Supreme Court: Insured Contractor’s Own Work Needing Repair or Replacement Not an “Occurrence”

By Scott C. Turner, Attorney, Anderson Kill On May 3, the Supreme Court of Alabama's issued its decision in Shane Traylor Cabinetmaker, L.L.C. v. American Resources Ins. Co., Inc. , --- So.3d ---- , 2013 Ala. LEXIS 42 (2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], which maintains...

West Virginia Court Resolves Issues Of First Impression On Insurance Coverage For Delayed Manifestation Claims

By John T. Waldron, III and Sara N. Brown I. Introduction The last few decades of tort litigation in America have been marked primarily by a surge in filings of asbestos, silica and other delayed manifestation bodily injury and property damage claims. These tort claims have in turn led to numerous...

Airliner in lightning storm

Appeals Court: You Can Knock Your Wife’s Lover Unconscious At A Urinal And Get Coverage

Back in the January 8th issue of Coverage Opinions I mentioned a coverage case involving two guys fighting at a urinal in a bar. Mercury Casualty Co. v. Noll (Cal. Ct. App. Sept. 26, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. Well here’s another recent one in the urinal fighting...

I See Dead People Causing Coverage Disputes

Look, it’s not pleasant, but when you are involved in liability claims you will be forced to confront scenarios involving death. It’s simply the nature of the beast. Liability insurance claims are, by their nature, all about when things go wrong. And when things go wrong – really wrong...

A Faulty Workmanship—“Occurrence” Case Worth Reading

The title of this article tells you how I feel about the continuous barrage of decisions addressing coverage for construction defects – in particular whether faulty workmanship constitutes an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy. I’m not saying that these cases...

car insurance adjuster

A-L-I Opener: More On Chapter 3 Of The ALI Principles

In the last issue of Coverage Opinions I took a brief look at what’s up next for the American Law Institute’s “Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance” Project: Chapter 3. In particular I discussed the Principles’s proposed definition of “accident.” It is...

Central District of California Denies Insurer’s MSJ On the Basis That There Was an Issue of Material Fact as to Whether an Alleged Failure to Construct a Home in Accordance With the Residential Community’s CC&Rs Constituted an “Occurrence”

Barks v. Castlepoint Nat’l Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43447 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 26, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In Barks , the district court found that there was an issue of material fact as to whether the general contractor’s alleged failure to construct...

15 Minutes (Fifteen Seconds, Really) Could Have Saved The Gecko More Than 15% On Car Insurance

Coverage Opinions hardly ever addresses automobile or subrogation cases. Here I address both. But wait, stay with me. This is an interesting one. It also speaks to an overarching issue concerning how insurers treat policyholders in a certain claim setting. The issue before the Indiana Court of Appeals...

Killing Two Is Not an Accident – Three Shots at Head Not an Occurrence

After State Farm intervened in a wrongful death action the trial court granted the insurer summary judgment and found State Farm owed neither defense nor indemnity to a person who was convicted of negligently killing two people by firing three shots at a man’s head. Nathan Leinweber and John Doe...

automobile accident

CGL Policy with Specific “Other Insurance” Clause Ruled Excess Over Auto Policy for Claim Arising out of Automobile Accident

Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau v. Lexington Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115747 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 19, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In Employers , the Central District of California found that a CGL Policy was excess to an automobile policy with regard to an accident...

Intentionally Striking Another Individual Ruled Not an “Occurrence” and Therefore Uncovered Even if Done in Self-Defense

David v. Allstate Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119473 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 25, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In David, the Central District of California ruled that intentionally hitting and biting another person was not an accident, and therefore did not fall within...

Interesting Case In The “What’s An Accident?” Category

I have long been a student of the “what’s an accident?” question for purposes of a liability policy. As I am fond of mentioning, the question has been before courts for a very, very, let’s add one more very, long time. There are cases asking it that date back to the early 1800s...

Driverless Cars: The Real Insurance Issue

There has been a lot of talk lately about driverless cars. It has included when various manufacturers plan to introduce models with some driverless features (soon) and, more generally, longer-term predictions of when we’ll all be skootin’ around in KITT. However, while automobile manufacturers...

Oil Rig Sea accident

motorcycle accident

tire truck damaged explosion high speed

A Really Curious Coverage Case

Regular readers of CO know that I constantly discuss how challenging “what is an accident” cases can be. The question whether an event qualifies as an “accident,” to trigger liability coverage, is the oldest and one of the most contentious in the book. It is also one of the most...